Charcoal erasure stain Connemara rain: horizon stacked heather cloud mountain ranges one behind another: veil green storm: this slick stoned path this wrought iron gate this headway keystone hill this headstone sky : thick tree protected from the soak I crouch read through apricot condensation glass a young girl’s hydrocephalic handwriting prayer box note: Dear Mary, Dear Virgin Rosary beads coil spent votive candles like plastic pulled baby teeth. In a barely ruining ink bleed the softened pulp that turns to a fist of reconstituting concerns: she worries about her limping little sister her grandfather’s eyes turned to burren: she worries about the sky and the fisherman she sees every morning who fog pier end walks: she worries about congregations of small bird flurry that hesitate when she steps close only to squeak and treble start again when she turns her back: she worries about spectacular seabirds tossed motionless beautiful in cross current pellets. She writes a sword of anguish. She writes what I can’t decipher. (I wipe the rain from the face of the glass.) She writes meekness. She writes: Please. She writes: Decide soon.
John Walser is an associate professor of English at Marian University. He co-founded the Foot of the Lake Poetry Collective. His poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Barrow Street, Nimrod, Evansville Review, Baltimore Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Naugatuck River Review, Fourth River and Hiram Poetry Review. A semi-finalist for the 2013 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, he is currently working on three manuscripts of poems.